SELL OUT

So I received an interesting bit of spam e-mail earlier this week. Someone from China, who identified themselves as working for a “consulting” company, inquired if I was willing to partake in a paid interview session where I am supposed to share my thoughts on the video game industry. They even quoted a rate of $250 an hour, unclear in what currency that is.

Shockingly though, the e-mail goes onto state the specifics of what they want me to share in the interview. Without going into too much detail, they were essentially asking me to divulge the business strategies and future plans for one of the games that my employer has recently released. Such information would be considered confidential and not for public consumption, yet this “consulting” company is clearly asking me to share this information in exchange for money. I am not exactly sure but this might also be illegal in some jurisdictions, for both the party offering the money and the party agreeing to divulge such information.

Part of me also thinks this just might be phishing scam. Between the e-mail address domain, the e-mail signature, and the contents of the e-mail body, three separate company names are used to identify the “consulting” company. Also, there appears to be little to no online presence for this company. So maybe they’re just trying to socially engineer some information from me.

In any case, I told my manager about this and they are trying to figure out who should look at this e-mail, perhaps someone in the legal department.

WARM

I went out for a walk around noon today and it was quite warm. The official weather forecast said the high today was 22 degrees Celsius but it felt much warmer than that when I was in the direct sun. In fact, while on my walk, I sought the shadier parts of the sidewalk because I was starting to sweat in the direct sunlight. I was dressed in a thin t-shirt and jeans, and it made me wish I had worn shorts instead.

October is just five days away and we’re still getting summer weather. I am not complaining however, as I know that Vancouver retains its amazing ability to turn into six months of torrential rains and cloudy skies in a span of a day. The forecast says we should have sunny skies until the weekend but who knows what it’ll be like beyond that.

SLACK MYSTERY CONTINUES

In a recent post, I wrote about how people at the company I work for sometimes post mysterious, nonsensical messages in a Slack channel that is visible to almost all employees. Well, it happened again on Sunday evening.

An employee who is already on their Monday workday, posted two six-digit numbers as their message. That’s it. No context or other information was included in their message.

UGH

I have a co-worker who works from home and sometimes goes into the office in the Los Angeles area. He’s now been infected with COVID-19 twice in the last six months. Both times he’s been very ill. He’s currently unable to work because he’s dealing with his latest bout with the virus.

I’ve also heard of some of co-workers in the LA that have gotten COVID-19 multiple times. Being infected multiple times can’t be good. I think it’s like rolling the dice every single time you get it. The odds just get worse.

Are we just going to accept that multiple infections are just a way of life going forward? It seems like that’s a sub-optimal way of going about things. Unfortunately, I don’t have all the answers either. All I know is people are continually getting ill and that’s worrisome.

SLACK MYSTERY

I work for a company that employs nearly ten thousand people worldwide. Like many modern companies, we use Slack for a lot of our communications. For the most part, our Slack admins try to prevent people from being able to message the entire company. There is one channel, however, that has over 8300 members in it, a majority of the employees in the company, and there are no restrictions on who can send a message in that channel. This channel is like a general purpose channel used to disseminate things like class announcements or new internal web sites.

Over the last two years, every couple of weeks, a random, meaningless message appears in this channel. If you haven’t muted this channel then thousands of employees get a notification. Here’s an example of a few random posts I’ve seen in this channel. Just today, someone just posted their first name as a message in this Slack channel. So imagine their name was Bob and they just posted, “Bob” in the channel. Why?

Sometimes, I’ve seen people post random characters or just a single random character as a message. Other times, people have posted a message that is clearly meant as a direct message to another employee. Sometimes, it seems their message was intended for another channel.

I don’t understand how people are sending this misguided messages to this one particular channel. Perhaps the distribution of erroneous messages is spread evenly to all Slack channels but since I don’t have visibility to all of them, I only see the ones sent to this general channel. If that is true though, why don’t I see these funny messages in my other channels?

There’s something I’m missing here and I’m not sure what it is.

FIFTEEN YEARS AGO TODAY

On this day, fifteen years ago, skate. was released for the Xbox 360. It was the first game to make it to the public that I worked on as a software engineer. It’s very difficult to believe it’s been fifteen years now. I am incredibly proud and lucky that this was my first game as game developer.

skate. was well-received by both gamers and critics alike and much of that was because of the phenomenal people that came together to get this game done. As thankful as I am for the great game we made, I am more thankful that I got to be part of that dev team. There was something magical about the special combination of the people, the game, and working downtown on the 12th floor of 250 Howe Street that made it a career defining time for me. I have worked on plenty of games and been part of many other teams since but none of that has ever come close to what working on skate. has meant to me. As the years go by, I realize now that there probably won’t be another team like that for me even if I work for another thirty years. That’s ok though, because I got to be part of one of the best dev teams ever!